Day on the lagoon

I woke up just like any other day. The urgency I had was for a ten o’clock meeting at makoko, so I knew I had time to lounge and laze about the house, whilst waiting for time to whiz past. Eventually, I dragged myself to the bathroom to do the needful, and several minutes later was sparkly clean (including my teeth) :d.

After checking that my interview materials were all handy, I slung the bag over my shoulder and left the house. Unknown to me at that point, I was already setting out for an adventure that will blow my mind.

Getting to Makoko was easy, I stay in ‘lere (that’s surulere for the uninitiated). Then my troubles started. No one around knew of or had heard about the school I was supposedly going. I felt a prank coming.

To worsen matters, my phones chose that moment to balk on me. Glo’s network disappeared, and airtel barred my outgoing calls. I was completely if not effectively isolated.

After several minutes of searching and fretting, I decided to call my contact person. He told me to stay where I was that he would send someone over to come pick me up. I didn’t realize that the adventure was about to start then!

At that time, I had become disfranchised with the standard of living of makoko residents, place is practically built on water, and most of the houses were water-logged and flooded. I felt pity for the residents as I tried to imagine wat their lives felt like. Haven come out of a Celestial Church of Christ background, I went in search of the church headquarters and had pangs of nostalgia when I saw it. That is a matter for another day

Soon my phone rang and the person that was supposed to come pick me demanded for my location. We had a disconnect that ensured another comedy of errors. Finally, he found me and our journey commenced.

First we walked for several minutes and I wondered where the fateful school was situated, till we got to the canoe parks and my questions were answered. I refused to get in, claiming that the water from the bilge would soil my shoes, it was a farce, I was scared shitless.

For a guy whose best beach in Lagos is tarkwa bay, I felled my own hand(pardon the lagos lingo) in those few minutes. Finally, I got in and so did my guide; thus began our seven minute ride from land to a school that is situated on water.

On the way, I saw children bathing in the lagoon, swimming happily and enjoying themselves with reckless abandon. I turned my face away as the sight was too repugnant to bear. Then it occured to me, I was merely a tourist in that community, the dark water and the disconnect from society the horrific show I wanted to end is their REALITY. I groaned.

When we got to the school, I practically wept, without the presence of tears. Built with planks on water, it is a storey building. The ground floor was soaked and seeping water. Still the kids on break couldn’t care less, as they played in the muddy water.

After liaising with the principal cum manager of the school, I promised that I would do everything within my power to get them help to ease the deplorable conditions of the school. Though the trip to the school had been a community development service (cds) assignment, yet seeing with my own eyes, I got a rude shock. And having lived practically all my life in lagos, and being shielded from what I experienced that day. I solemnly declare, that as God empowers me, I will go back to Whanyinna nursery and primary school, only then, I will actually bring the calvary.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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